Mary Tyler Moore, 1936 - 2017



RIP Laura Petrie, my TV mom crush over a half-century ago.

My memories of The Dick Van Dyke Show are strictly black and white; that color photo at top, taken on set, is almost jarring.

John Glenn, 1921 - 2016


Ad astra.

Fidel Castro, 1926 - 2016


Viva los ideales de Fidel. Viva Cuba.

Photo: Jack Webb | New York Times

Leonard Cohen, 1934 - 2016


Vin Scully


I’ve been watching the Dodgers-Giants game on Comcast Sports Net Bay Area, live from AT&T Park.

I’ve been following the progress of the Pirates-Cardinals game on an iPad via the MLB app.

But mostly I’ve been listening to the Dodgers-Giants game on KLAC AM radio in Los Angeles, via the MLB app on an iPhone 7, with the iPhone more than adequately transubstantiating itself as a transistor radio so that I can wrap myself in the final broadcast of the legendary Vin Scully. At 88 years of age, his voice is still like a river of warm caramel winding through the last 67 years of American baseball history, and this afternoon I’ve been swimming in it.

It was 80 years ago today, to the day, that eight-year-old Vincent Edward Scully saw a box score posted in the window of a neighborhood store in the Bronx: the New York Yankees had beaten the New York Giants 18-4 in Game Two of the 1936 World Series. Scully recalled that moment during today’s broadcast, saying it was the day he fell in love with baseball. October 2 2016 is the day he chose to be the last of his career because of that anniversary.

My game summary for today:

The Giants win and earn themselves a wild card berth in Postseason 2016.

The Dodgers lose and go on to play the Washington Nationals in DC on Friday in the NL Playoffs.

Baseball moves on but its great gentleman and living treasure has called his last out and signed off for the last time.

Mic drop.

Photograph: Dominic DiSaia

Warren Hinckle III, 1938-2016


Another piece of San Francisco's soul is gone.

In high school I bought copies of Scanlan's Monthly at the Waldenbooks in Pensacola, in the shopping center that was built on the former site of the Pensacola Interstate Fair, ‘beside’ and ‘behind’ the Town and Country Shopping Center. The annual Interstate Fair moved on and on its old fairgrounds was birthed the shopping center with the bookstore, then the bookstore died and became the original incarnation of McQuire's Irish Pub....

In Pensacola I was a Rolling Stone subscriber starting with issue #4 in 1968. Before that, in junior high school, I was reading Ramparts (a left wing magazine with a Catholic publishing lineage, edited for many years by Hinckle). In Pensacola I bought every issue (maybe 6?) of Warren Hinckle's great but short-lived Scanlan's Monthly, a radical muckraking magazine that was the first to publish Hunter Thompson’s brilliant “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” (the glorious birth of gonzo journalism) and pulled no punches, reaching the point where it had to be printed in Canada and Germany because no printer in the United States would do it, hastening its inevitable demise. I was living here in the San Francisco Bay Area years before I ever moved here.

But that San Francisco is gone now, too, lost to me before I ever got here.

So when I complete this post and push the Publish button I’ll be drinking a toast to Warren Hinckle III and Bentley, his beloved Bassett hound, who preceded Hinckle in death 20 years ago (but only after the dog enjoyed one last Jeremiah Tower hamburger at Stars before a sad final trip to the vet), a toast to lives well lived and a past long gone.


Warren Hinckle and Bentley, October 29 1987
Photo: Eric Luse | San Francisco Chronicle

Photo at top: Warren Hinckle, December 14 1970
Photographer: Unknown | San Francisco Chronicle

Muhammad Ali, 1942 - 2016


Magestic. Titanic. Beautiful.

Corvette Ad, This Morning


Guy Clark, 1941 - 2016


Prince, 1958 - 2016


Roberta 'Big Brown Eyes' Hernandez introduced me to Prince in 1980 or 1981. Those first few albums impressed but after Purple Rain my engagement wandered and dissipated and was lost in the flash and the MTVery of Prince and the 80s. I'm sure Roberta never stopped listening.

But I will say and I have long believed and sworn to this: the last great radio single by anybody was "Little Red Corvette."

Photograph: Backstage at The Bottom Line, Greenwich Village 1980 | Deborah Feingold/Corbis


Garry Shandling, 1949 - 2016


Shocking news. Garry Shandling is dead at 66.

'The Larry Sanders Show' was nothing short of brilliant, redefining television comedy as we knew it. It is still redefining television.

I'm a long-time fan. I've followed him on Twitter for a long while, and saw him just a week or so ago on Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. He and Seinfeld discussed their shock at the death of Robin Williams, how a comedian's material dies with him, and their own creeping mortality. The episode is titled, 'It's Great That Garry Shandling Is Still Alive.'

Show some respect: no flipping.


George Martin, 1926 - 2016


Bud Collins

His exuberance for the game and the florid spews of language his exuberance often ignited (not to mention the clothes) made it too easy for casual observers of the game to dismiss him but you could never overlook him, and you ignored him at your peril because he truly was fountain of knowledge about the game and its players and its history. In the late 70s and the 80s, when I came full throttle to the sport (as a spectator), he was as much the face of tennis for the American audience as was 'bad boy' national hero John McEnroe. I remember many a "Breakfast at Wimbledon" (NBC's Sunday morning broadcasts of the men's finals) with him in my Oakland apartment, eating steak and eggs and biscuits instead of strawberries and cream (in those days I also didn't have a taste for champagne yet, either).

RIP, Bud Collins.

Photo: Gill Allen | Associated Press | Wimbledon 1993


Bud Collings, Who Covered Tennis With Authority and Flash, Dies at 86


Yolande Betbeze Fox, 1928 - 2016


“I’m a Southern girl, but I’m a thinking girl.”

A remarkable woman who has fascinated me for decades. Born in Mobile Alabama (a few miles across the state line from my hometown of Pensacola) and Roman Catholic convent educated and an aspiring opera singer who later became a Washington D.C. socialite married to a movie mogul, she was crowned Miss America in 1950 and promptly refused to publicly model bathing suits as required by her Miss America contract and the Miss America sponsor, Catalina Swimwear. The pageant caved in to her, Catalina withdrew its sponsorship and founded the rival Miss U.S.A. contest.

She went on to to become a social activist in the civil rights and feminist movements (she was a member of the NAACP and CORE and continued sparring with the Miss America pageant for years, attacking it for its lack of racial diversity) and was the Paris ambassador for The Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy. She was at Sing Sing Prison to protest the executions of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and she studied philosophy at the New School for Social Research. She co-founded an off-Broadway theater in New York City.

She died yesterday in Washington D.C.

The photo at top is Ms Betbeze appearing as Miss America in Pensacola's Fiesta of Five Flags parade in June 1951. (Dig the creepy-looking cop behind her.)

Photo credit: Frank Hardy Sr

Auntie Betty


Chicako Fukuda, 1921 - 2016
Betty Fukuda Takenaka

Survived by sisters Emi and Fumi; daughter Eileen and sons Ed and Calvin; granddaughter Jeana and grandsons Michael and Christopher.

安らかに眠る. Rest in peace.

David Bowie, 1947 - 2016

David Bowie Dead At 69
| Rolling Stone |

This morning I'll be drinking a warm whisky to toast the Thin White Duke.